I’m always leery when I see a wine that I know well attain an incredibly high score and/or receive a special distinction. So when the Volpaia CCR showed up on Wine Spectators Top 100 list I wasn’t thrilled. For one thing, it’s guaranteed to make the wine that much more difficult to find. For another, it likely mean a significant price increase….just because. Unfortunately, both of these have come to fruition.
Castello di Volpaia sits atop a hillside just north of Radda in Chianti. It’s a dominating castle that anchors the remainder of this tiny walled village; a unique enclave that is more than simply a winery. The winery and the surrounding buildings actually comprise the small hamlet of Volpaia; population, about 50
Volpaia’s origins date back to the year 1172, but it wasn’t until the mid 1970’s that the Mascheroni Stianti family, led by the husband and wife team of Carlo and Giovanella, decided to modernize the winery and begin commercial production on a scale never before implemented at Volpaia. Today, the winery and the village support and farm over 900 acres of land, of which 120 are dedicated to vineyards, 40 that are devoted to olive groves and the balance to natural forest and the village structures.
The 2015 Castello di Volpaia Chianti Classico Riserva is exceedingly special. In the glass, the wine is a deep ruby color – crystal clear with penetrating violet reflections.
Everything about this wine screams purity. On the nose, the wine displays exquisite aromas of crushed wild berry backed by Tuscan herbs and underbrush, sweet tobacco, fennel and blue flowers.
On the palate, there is simply no let up. Rich, ripe, vibrant crushed berry fruit cascades across the palate from front to back so elegantly and nimbly, yet with a power and structure so prevalent in 2015s. The core of fruit is juicy, mouthwatering and lively and punctuated by ripe tobacco laden tannins, fresh earth, mineral and soft wood notes. It is still rather primary, though not at all monolithic. This has lots to give and if you can find some, I suggest simply stocking up. If you don’t like it, contact me and I’ll take whatever you don’t want provided the price is fair. Yep, a Tuscan Vines guarantee!
This 100% Sangiovese is a great value at the original price of about $25. Sans the Top 100, I’ve seen this for as silly as $60. At that price, the value is gone which ironically is one of the criteria that landed it on the Top 100 in the first place. So shop around and find a reputable retailer that won’t gouge you. 97 points.
It would be a shame for lovers of pure Sangiovese to miss out on this wine. Given my review of the 2015 Classico, it didn’t surprise me when this reviewed so well. Make note for when Volpaia’s other 2015s are released.